Controlled Drinking vs Abstinence Addiction Recovery

by | Mar 22, 2021

Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol. Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world’s leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe. The ranking probabilities and surface under the cumulative ranking curve (SUCRA) values are presented in Figure S8A–C and Table S8A–C for the three following outcomes. According to the predefined inclusion criteria, two authors (H.C.and S.W.) separately reviewed the list of papers retrieved through preliminarily screening titles and abstracts and full text with Endnote X7 to decide which could be included. Any controversial points were resolved with discussion after an independent review of the list of papers by another author (P.Z.).

  • According to this systematic review and NMA, in terms of improving PDA, our findings provided further clarification about the abstinence efficacy of MET and CT protocols, which was significantly better than the efficacy of TAU with relatively higher evidence quality.
  • The Wallace et al. patients had a high level of abstinence; patients in Nordström and Berglund had a high level of controlled drinking.
  • These goals are highly consistent with the growing
    conceptualization of `recovery’ as a guiding vision of AUD services (The Betty Ford Institute Consensus Panel 2007).
  • The most reliable predictors of abstinence from heavy drinking were CDA and drinking goal.
  • While total abstinence is necessary in some cases, in other cases people are able to reduce their drinking to moderate levels without needing to abstain totally.

Furthermore, quality
of life appeared significantly better among abstainers than non-abstainers. A better
understanding of the recovery process and tools utilized by non-abstinent vs. abstinent
individuals would inform clinical practice; for example, is it more important for those in
abstinent recovery to have abstinent individuals in their social networks? How do the
specifics of AA and other mutual aid group involvement affect long-term recovery? Finally, we hope to
further investigate the overlap between “remission” and
“recovery” from AUD, especially in the context of harm reduction. A program called Moderation Management advocates this alternative to abstinence as a solution for a substance abuse disorder2. This team of researchers undertook to compare self-identified members of Moderation Management with self-identified members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at CATCH Recovery

I don’t think I have a problem, but I might be someone that could get it [problems] more than anyone else […] (IP30). Drinking is often a coping strategy subconsciously used to avoid having to deal with uncomfortable or painful issues. Moderated drinking could give you the space to address those issues you’ve been pushing aside.

Is Drinking in Moderation Possible for Alcoholics? – Verywell Mind

Is Drinking in Moderation Possible for Alcoholics?.

Posted: Sat, 24 Sep 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Witkiewitz (2013) has suggested
that abstinence may be less important than psychiatric, family, social, economic, and
health outcomes, and that non-consumption measures like psychosocial functioning and
quality of life should be goals for AUD research (Witkiewitz 2013). These goals are highly consistent with the growing
conceptualization of `recovery’ as a guiding vision of AUD services (The Betty Ford Institute Consensus Panel 2007). Witkiewitz also argued
that the commonly held belief that abstinence is the only solution may deter some
individuals from seeking help. For example, controlled drinking vs abstinence in AUD treatment, individuals with both goal choices demonstrate significant improvements in drinking-related outcomes (e.g., lower percent drinking days, fewer heavy drinking days), alcohol-related problems, and psychosocial functioning (Dunn & Strain, 2013). Additionally, individuals are most likely to achieve the outcomes that are consistent with their goals (i.e., moderation vs. abstinence), based on studies of both controlled drinking and drug use (Adamson, Heather, Morton, & Raistrick, 2010; Booth, Dale, & Ansari, 1984; Lozano et al., 2006; Schippers & Nelissen, 2006).

1. Review aims

The most reliable predictors of abstinence from heavy drinking were CDA and drinking goal. Trees provide binary decision rules and straightforward graphical representations for identification of subgroups based on response and may be easier to implement in clinical settings. It’s hard to measure how effectively different programs are treating a condition when the two different programs are entirely different. In the case of Moderation Management, the diagnosis for members is “problem drinking,” not full-blown alcoholism. Attempting controlled drinking as a full-blown alcoholic can be extraordinarily damaging. The controversial past of controlled drinking is slowly giving way to a hopeful future in which individuals are less likely to be forced into an abstinence-only treatment scenario.

  • It is also worthwhile considering the chemical effect of alcohol addiction on the body and the way alcohol withdrawal affects it.
  • At Addictionhelper, we will never tell you “you can’t ever drink again” because that is not our place.
  • Furthermore, abstinence remains a gold standard treatment outcome in pharmacotherapy research for drug use disorders, even after numerous calls for alternative metrics of success (Volkow, 2020).
  • There is still a need for higher-quality RCTs to strengthen the evidence network and confirm the clinical benefits of other psychotherapies.

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